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Robbie Coltrane
Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

Robbie Coltrane

Biography
(1950–2022)
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Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane was best known for roles including Hagrid the Giant in the 'Harry Potter' series and Mr. Hyde in 'Van Helsing.'

Who Was Robbie Coltrane?

Robbie Coltrane became known in the United Kingdom for his cameo performances in such films as Henry V and Mona Lisa. Coltrane continues to appear in movies, enjoying great success in such family films as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Harry Potter series—in which he played the kindly gamekeeper Hagrid the Giant.

Early Life and Career

Born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, on March 30, 1950, comic actor Robbie Coltrane enjoyed great success on the big screen and on television, with the popular British television series Cracker and the Harry Potter film series. The son of a teacher and a doctor, he first started performing as a student at Glenalmond College. While he liked acting, Coltrane decided to follow his passion for art. He attended the Glasgow School of Art, where he focused mainly on drawing and painting.

After completing his schooling, Coltrane turned first to improvisational stand-up. He took the stage name "Robbie Coltrane," choosing his last name as a tribute to the jazz legend John Coltrane. The portly actor later branched out in acting. He became known for such television shows as Alfresco and Tutti Frutti. He also made cameo performances in such films as Mona Lisa (1986) and Henry V (1989).

Movies and TV Shows

Moving on to bigger film roles, Coltrane starred with Monty Python alum Eric Idle in the 1990 comedy Nuns on the Run. He found himself amidst controversy the following year, with The Pope Must Die; Coltrane played a flawed priest who winds up becoming the pope in this comedy, but the film's title caused such an outcry that it was renamed The Pope Must Diet.

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In the mid-1990s, Coltrane played the lead in the popular crime series Cracker in Britain. He starred as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a brilliant forensic psychologist with an excessive lifestyle. The show later aired on American television, and Coltrane earned a CableACE Award for his performance. Coltrane also made appearances in two James Bond films, 1995's GoldenEye and 1999's The World Is Not Enough, starring alongside Pierce Brosnan.

'Harry Potter'

Coltrane began his run as the kindly gameskeeper Rubeus Hagrid in the first installment of the Harry Potter film series in 2001. His larger-than-life-sized character served as a friend and ally to the title character throughout the series, which concluded with 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The following year, Coltrane lent his voice to the hit animated film Brave.

Personal Life

Robbie Coltrane died on October 14, 2022. He was 72.

Coltrane was married to Rhona Gemmell, with whom he had two children: Alice and Spencer.

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